When the Thin Air virtual conference was first conceived, it was intended to be a place for journalists to find new products to cover. But now, four months till the show launches on September 15, 2020, show organizers are making plans to welcome retail buyers as well.
"We know traditionally retailers attend trade shows for product discovery, and many cottage brands and emerging brands aren't in attendance at those shows,” said show organizer Erik Boles of Gearmunk. “Offering Thin Air to retailers was a logical step for us so they can learn about what's hot, what brands are doing right now, and discover brands they normally don't see or have the opportunity to engage with."
According to the Thin Air website, retailers should attend if they:
- Want talk to brands about the latest gear or other cool shit either as a buyer or for your content channels
- Are Jonesing to reopen and start selling gear
- Want to discover those amazing brands they may not normally find on their shelves
With big trade shows like Outdoor Retailer and smaller buying shows like Grassroots and regional rep shows not happening this spring/summer, Thin Air hopes to become that place of discovery for both media and retail buyers looking to stock their shelves.
Thin Air’s model is radically different that the other virtual offerings that quickly hit the market when the pandemic started shutting down events. Rather than webinars or live product showings, Thin Air is an actual virtual world where attendees can roam a show landscape, enter virtual booths, ask questions, see content, have a private chat, and otherwise engage in real time with brands who have stories to tell and product to sell.
According to show organizer Erik Boles of Gearmunk, Thin Air currently has more than 200 exhibitors already registered. “Interestingly, most of them are new, young, up-and-coming brands who are eager to try new things and reach new audiences. The legacy brands are slower to adapt,” he says.
Exhibitors pay from $1500 to $5000 for a booth (depending on features) and there’s also a super-sized option to buy an entire dedicated “hall” for $35,000. That lower ticket price tag puts Thin Air into the realm of possibility for upstart cottage brands who would never be able to afford the likes of Outdoor Retailer. Thin Air will donate 5 percent of revenue to non-profits who apply for a grant. Attendance for media and retailers is free.
Learn more and register here.